Saturday, April 16, 2011

The NY Times Doesn't Believe in Geek Girls

You know what I like? I like sword fights and explosions and battles and basically anything that involves a lot of violence. I also really like big sweeping epics with lots of characters and intricate plots. So, imagine my surprise when this review about Game of Thrones from the New York Times came out essentially putting down women like me.

The author of this piece, Ginia Bellafante, is not a geek girl. If she were, she would not have made comments such as, “While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

All I could think about when reading this was how much I would like to either show the author just how much I enjoy violence or in a “less likely to land me in jail" approach, talk to her and tell her why I am a geek girl. It is apparent that this woman is completely ignorant of the thousands of women who love this type of story. Someone(s) needs to educate her. Then again, maybe she can’t be educated. After all, she even puts down people who like Sex in the City by implying that it is a show for dumb people.

Ms. Bellafante, this is what I have to say to you:

Forgetting that your review is not much of an actual review (where are the critiques of the actors or writing), and looking past your odd comments about the sex being added to entice the women (isn't that traditionally done for the men), who are you to speak for womankind? You don’t like the show? That’s fine. Don’t like it. But, do not presume to think you know what everyone likes, and do not act so damn condescending. I like violence, just ask my friends. I like comics and sci-fi and collecting action figures, but I also like makeup and romantic comedies and Private Practice, so in your eyes what does that make me? Am I an anomaly to you? Do I confuse you? Well, what about the thousands of women all across the world that are like me too? Do we all confuse you?

You clearly have issues with the sci-fi, fantasy, and supernatural genres. I saw your article about Supernatural. Even when you were complimenting it, you were also talking it down. You seem to think the show is the Detroit automobile industry or about how parents aren’t everything. You have clearly missed the point of the entire show, and for the record, while the show is on the CW, which is generally marketed towards young people, Supernatural has a very strong adult fan base.

Having read a few more of your articles, I see that you prefer your genre shows simple. Given your comments about how intricate the plotlines are in both the Supernatural and Game of Thrones articles, I cannot help but conclude that you would like the writers to dumb down these shows. I don’t understand why. If you can follow even a fraction of what happens in politics or the world, then you should easily be able to follow these. Would it be wrong of me to assume you don’t like soap operas too? Some of those plots are far more complicated than these could ever be.

The article is ridiculous. Maybe if you had done even a small amount of research, you would not have written it. Maybe you would have been forced to rewatch the show with new eyes. I don’t know. I doubt it, but I am an optimist who believes in the power of education. Though right now, I’d rather be educating with my fists or a bat than the other way.

If you don't believe me, please check out the many people across the web, female AND male, who are saying the same thing. To get you started, here are a few.

Amy Ratcliffe - Geek With Curves: Response to the NY Times Game of Thrones Review
Alan Kistler - OP/ED: Hey NY Times -Geek Girls Really Do Exist!
Geek Girl Diva: To Ginia Bellafante Regarding Your "Review" Of Game Of Thrones. [Rant]
Jill Pantozzi - Has Boobs, Reads Comics: New York Times insults female readers, they write back. 
Delphine - GeekMom: A Live Woman Who'd Gladly Watch A Game of Thrones (Even Without the Sex Scenes)
ThinkHero: 'Game of Thrones' Is Not 'Boy Fiction'

This is just a small sampling of the people who have spoken out against your article. Within these posts are additional links to articles responding to your close-minded point of view. Read the article, try to learn something, and then pick up The Hobbit or any other fantasy book you have turned your nose up at or deemed "boy fiction" and read it. Who knows, maybe you'll find you like it.